Every five years, Congress reviews the current state of farming and agriculture in the United States then, based on their findings, proposes an updated version of the previous bill.
After the first version failed in May of last year, the new 2018 Farm Bill was finally signed by President Trump on December 20th, 2018.
The goal was to study the cultivation and commercial viability of hemp as an industrial crop. Industrial hemp is defined as any part of the Cannabis sativa plant as long as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content is less than 0.3%.
The 2014 bill’s reclassification of hemp was a huge leap forward.
But the 2018 Farm Bill truly set a precedent for the hemp industry going into the future. If it wasn’t for adamant political leaders like Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, hemp legality may have never seen the light of day.
The evolution of the 2018 Farm Bill
After seeing the success of the hemp pilot programs in his home state, Senator McConnell introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 (HFA) in April of last year.
The HFA bill strongly advocated for the importance of hemp as a valuable agricultural crop. This legislation would later be combined with the 2018 Farm Bill after Senator McConnell realized it had a much better chance of passing.
While the 2018 Farm Bill bill covers many different agricultural and nutritional policies, one of the most important changes in regards to hemp production was that it repealed section 7606 of the 2014 bill. This section specified hemp could only be grown legally under either the pilot programs or by an institute of higher education.
The new bill also officially removed hemp from the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) definition of marijuana.
This decision means hemp is no longer considered a Schedule I drug, which has “no current, accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
So finally, after decades, hemp is now legal on a federal level.
Last but not least, the bill also removed previous restrictions regarding interstate sales, making it fully legal to transport, sell, and own any hemp-derived products.
And while this is great news for the CBD industry, it’s even better news for the United States economy because CBD isn’t hemp’s only use.
The reality is that it’s used to make hundreds of different products you never even knew were hemp-based. From clothing to concrete, hemp has been one of the most useful and versatile crops throughout history.
2018 Farm Bill: The importance of continued CBD research
A major reason politicians like Senator McConnell advocated so strongly for the new bill was because it would also renew the protections and conditions previously put in place in 2014 for hemp research.
One of these is the Critical Agricultural Materials Act.
This act highlights the fact that we still have much to learn about hemp in a commercial sense. Because of the decades-long ban on growing hemp industrially, the United States needs to learn as much as possible about the crop so we can begin to compete again on a global scale.
For example, in Australia, a pharmaceutical company just recently signed a $31.3 billion contract with a Korean cosmetics company for a three-year supply of hemp. Not to mention, China has been dominating the global hemp market for a while now, producing over 50% of the world’s supply.
Hemp Business Journal recently reported that the country had planted 200,000 to 250,000 acres of hemp, which is the equivalent of 300,000 football fields or the States of Texas and New Mexico combined. That’s a lot of hemp.
Thanks to the recent passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. hemp market stands to make roughly $2.6 billion in sales during 2019 and 2020. That’s a lot of green. br>
As one of the biggest hemp consumers, particularly for CBD products, relying on home-grown hemp will be a huge boost for the United State’s economy.
What states is CBD oil legal in?
In terms of what states is CBD oil legal in, hemp-derived products (like CBD oil) are legal on a federal level. Again, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
For an in-depth explanation and a look at the current CBD climate, check out the National Conference of State Legislatures. Here’s a rundown of how it currently stands:
1. States Where both Marijuana and Hemp-Based CBD are Legal:
2. States Where Medical Marijuana and Hemp-Based CBD are Legal (no restrictions on THC level):
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
3. States Where Medical Marijuana or Hemp-Based CBD are Legal (restrictions on THC level):
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Not to sound like a broken record, but hemp and hemp-derived products are now federally legal.
As the CBD landscape continues to take shape in the U.S. and across the globe, more and more people, politicians, and purveyors are opening up to the idea of hemp returning to glory as one of the most versatile plants.
The future of CBD, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill
While this is true, the fact remains that most of the general public is still wary of CBD oil as a viable, natural alternative. While continued research unveils the many benefits of CBD, the collective mindset of consumers needs to be changed.
This won’t happen overnight, but begins with proper practice in the CBD industry. Make sure you’re doing your due diligence when researching who to buy from. The companies with your interest at heart will provide plenty of tools for CBD education.
Reputable CBD companies want their customers to make informed decisions. Because there is a “green rush” in the CBD industry, there are plenty of companies just looking to make a quick buck. That’s why when buying CBD oil, make sure to take your time and find the right option that best suits your needs.
CBD companies and consumers can take heart in the fact that interest in CBD isn’t waning; in fact, it’s growing and only expected to get bigger in the coming years. Now that hemp is federally legal, rest assured that hemp-based CBD has a bright future.
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